ACMO helps lead Peppol eInvoicing growth throughout Australia & NZ with APAY
Businesses, Government Agencies, and local Councils today are aiming for a “digital transformation”, the modernising of systems that have remained largely paper-based and manual. In today’s blog, I want to discuss e-Invoicing, and what is currently happening with the Morrison Governments commitment to their Digital Business Plan. The government’s goal is for Australia to become one of the world’s leading digital economies by 2030. A key pillar of this plan is making it easier to do business with the government through the use of PEPPOL electronic invoicing, or e-Invoicing.
What would you picture in your head if I asked you to think of what a digital invoice looks like? I imagine you see a PDF document in A4 format? The equivalent of a digital paper invoice. The challenge for any organisation moving forward is that in the future, invoices will be completely electronic, in a standardised and regulated way to ensure legitimacy as well as the speed of payment & processing. When will this realistically take place? The Australian and NZ government are making progress in bringing the change about with their announcement of a mandate that all Commonwealth agencies would e-Invoice by 1 July 2022, with 80% doing so by 1 July 2021. The government committed to paying supplier e-Invoices up to the value of $1 million in five business days or paying interest on them. The aim is to drive e-Invoicing down supply chains. The government has also hinted at a widespread e-Invoicing mandate, though they are only at the consulting stage.
For businesses, it’s not quite clear how long the push will take to adopt e-invoicing. Some businesses are still trying to find a solution to reduce the manual imputing of invoices into their accounts payable solution. This is where APAY, our accounts payable automation software can help bridge the gap between what is needed now, and what is needed in the future. Peppol e-invoicing is basically made up of two main parts. The first part is the e-invoice itself – its format, specifications and standards. The second part is the Peppol network which is how the e-invoices are exchanged between trading partners, and how those specifications and standards are enforced.
How APAY is bridging the gap
APAY is designed with the Peppol formats in mind and can accept and process e-invoicing in Australia & NZ alongside PDF’s and scanned images. ACMO’s partnership with Storecove enables us to essentially plug APAY into the Peppol network so that your suppliers can send you e-invoices as well. As Kris Elliott from Storecove puts it, “Think of APAY as your mobile phone and Storecove is providing the telco service so it can make phone calls.” What he means is that to send e-invoices on the PEPPOL network you will need an accredited access point provider that connects your AP system to the Peppol network.
We would argue that APAY is truly a great investment for organisations who need help shifting to digital processes, as many businesses currently are seeking solutions that offer Cognitive Capture to process invoices arriving into the organisation by paper and email attachment. APAY uses Kofax Capture to create digital images from documents received by various sources such as mobile, email, MFPs, web, fax, and scanners. Kofax Capture then extracts the important data and delivers the information to APAY for processing.
Another point I haven’t mentioned yet about e-invoicing is that it protects against fraud. Did you know that invoice fraud and “scamming” costs Australian businesses millions of dollars each year? To the tune of $132 million in 2019. Peppol e-Invoicing provides security for invoice senders and receivers by ensuring that accredited Access Points are validating the organisations on the Peppol network, and by the use of unique identifiers for each organisation. I’m sure this is a very appealing check & balance point for the government. APAY currently uses an FDE (fraud detection engine) to verify that invoices are coming from approved suppliers and legitimate businesses before the invoice can be processed. Due Diligence is important!
To summarise my thoughts:
What are the top 3 benefits for adopting Account Payable automation with a Peppol enabled solution.
- The flexibility to receive invoices from everyone, large or small, in any format they are currently using. From paper invoices, emailed PDF’s, and new e-invoices.
- The advantage of dealing with the Government and their 5-day payment guarantee for e-invoices.
- Protection against Fraud.